Tag Archives: new in print

New in Print: Law's Relations by Jennifer Nedelsky

New out from OUP! Law’s Relations:  by U of T Law’s Jennifer Nedelsky. Some readers may have seen chapters of this book when it was in progress, but now it is available for order.

Autonomy is one of the core concepts of legal and political thought, yet also one of the least understood. The prevailing theory of liberal individualism characterizes autonomy as independence, yet from a social perspective, this conception is glaringly inadequate. In this brilliantly innovative work, Jennifer Nedelsky claims that we must rethink our notion of autonomy, rejecting the usual vocabulary of control, boundaries, and individual rights. If we understand that we are fundamentally in relation to others, she argues, we will recognize that we become autonomous with others–with parents, teachers, employers, and the state. We should not therefore regard autonomy as merely a conceptual tool for assigning rights, but as a capacity that can be fostered or undermined throughout one’s life through the relationships and the societal structures we inhabit.

The political project thus should not only be to protect the individual from the state and keep the state out, but to use law to construct relations with the state that enhance autonomy. Law’s Relations includes many concrete legal applications of her theory of relational autonomy, offering new insights into the debates over due process, judicial review, violence against women, and private versus public law


New in Print: Lessard Reviews Sheppard (Inclusive Equality) in the OHLJ

U Vic’s Hester Lessard reviews Colleen Sheppard‘s Inclusive Equality(2010), in the OHLJ.

Sheppard both identifi es and clarifi es valuable achievements in this area of Canadian law. In particular, she highlights an emphatically relational, socially-embedded understanding of inequality and a conceptual vocabulary—including the notions of adverse effects and systemic discrimination—to aid us in addressing specifi c inequalities.


cover of Colleen Sheppard's

ICJ publication: Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Justice- A Comparative Law Casebook

Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Justice- A Comparative Law Casebook. (yes, this link takes you to the whole book, available for download).

This is pretty marvelous — many chapters each collecting case summaries on a particular topic from around the work.

From the Forward by The Hon. Michael Kirby AC CMG:

This is a remarkable book. It tells an extraordinary tale. It collects more than 100 court decisions of comparatively recent years in which judges of many lands have had to grapple with decisions about the legal rights of members of sexual minorities (homosexuals, bisexuals, transsexuals, intersex and other ‘queer’ people).
The collection is remarkable, in that it shows the extraordinary progress that has been made in a couple of decades, when measured against the hostility and inequality that marked this topic of the law over hundreds of years previously. The hostility and inequality are by no means over. The cases recorded in this book come from diverse countries. But most of them are from the courts of developed nations. In many countries of Africa, the Caribbean and Asia, inequality and injustice continue to prevail with legal backing and societal support. Still, the very publication of this book, with its clear message of parliamentary and judicial progress in the cause of equality and basic rights, will itself contribute to the global process that is underway. Judges and lawyers will read the book. They will take heart and courage to press forward in their own lands until the last remnants of ignorance and prejudice are finally removed from the face of the law

From the Introduction:

In 2009 the International Commission of Jurists began to gather together national court decisions that addressed questions concerning sexual orientation and gender identity. It did so because it had become evident that battles over some of the most controversial issues of the day were being waged in domestic courts. A very small number of cases can be brought before international human rights bodies – such as the regional human rights commissions and courts and UN treaty bodies – but increasingly international human rights arguments were being heard at the domestic level. What you have before you is the result of this research.

The fourteen chapters are organised by topic. Each chapter begins with a general introduction to that particular field of law, followed by case summaries. The latter set forth the legal issue and the relevant domestic, comparative and international law, and then summarise the arguments, reasoning, and result. Cases that are summarised in the Casebook are bold-faced throughout the text. Altogether, the Casebook consists of 108 cases, from 41 countries across a variety of regions, covering a span of more than forty years. The vast majority of decisions, nevertheless, date from the past decade. The pace of change is clearly accelerating.

Another H/T to the amazing list serv from the Reproductive and Sexual Health Law Programme at U of T: REPROHEALTHLAW-L

New in Print C.J. Craig, “Copyright, Communication and Culture: Re-Imagining the Copyright Model”

Colleague, IFLS member (and cherished friend) Carys Craig has published a reworking of her dissertation entitled Copyright, Communication and Culture: re-Imagining the Copyright Model”.  The book is available here (Amazon.ca, still in preorder as of now but at a good price), or from the publisher here.  She had a book launch last Friday, covered in detail by IPOsgoode here.

Here’s the publisher’s blurb for Copyright, Communication and Culture:

In this provocative book, Carys Craig challenges the assumptions of possessive individualism embedded in modern day copyright law, arguing that the dominant conception of copyright as private property fails to adequately reflect the realities of cultural creativity.

Employing both theoretical argument and doctrinal analysis, including the novel use of feminist theory, the author explores how the assumptions of modern copyright result in law that frequently restricts the kinds of expressive activities it ought to encourage. In contrast, Carys Craig proposes a relational theory of copyright based on a dialogic account of authorship, and guided by the public interest in a vibrant, participatory culture. Through a critical examination of the doctrines of originality and fair dealing, as well as the relationship between copyright and freedom of expression, she explores how this relational theory of copyright law could further the public purposes of the copyright system and the social values it embodies.

Some of the arguments which appear in the book were first published as articles.  For instance, regarding her use of feminist theory (which is how you get your copyright book featured on IFLS, naturally), you can read her “Reconstructing the Author-Self: Some Feminist Lessons for Copyright LawJournal of Gender, Social Policy & the Law, Vol. 15, No. 2, pp. 207-268, 2007   (link is to SSRN):

“Employing the tools of feminist dialogism and relational theory, I hope to show that we can re-imagine the author not as source, origin, or authority, but as participant, citizen. These ideas illuminate the nature of authorship as a social and formative process, but they also offer the foundation for a coherent justification of copyright: copyright law, which aims to encourage creativity and exchange, should thereby encourage participation in cultural dialogue and facilitate the relations of communication that are central to this conception of selfhood and society.”

Carys will speak at our October Feminist Friday, on “What’s Feminist about Open Access?” a co authored piece which was published in the inaugural edition of Feminists@Law, a new open access journal of feminist legal scholarship.  Maybe you don’t know much about the intersection of Feminism and Copyright, but think it sounds like a neat neighbourhood.  When I asked for two suggestions, Carys suggested these articles to those intrigued by the connections between feminist theory and copyright (or IP more generally).  Carys adores alliteration, so she described these as favourite/fundamental:
Malla Pollack. “Towards a Feminist Theory of the Public Domain, or The Gendered Scope of United States’ Copyrightable and Patentable Subject Matter” William & Mary J. of Women and the Law 12 (2006): 603. Link is to Hein Online (requires account – will likely work if you are accessing from a university IP address):

the public domain is feminine because it provides essential nourishment; it is the birthing and lactating mother. As one seed becomes a plant due to the fecundity of the earth goddess, so one human sprouts poems due to the fecundity of the public domain, the daemon, the muse.”

Says Carys, “A sure way to make upper year law students shift uneasily in their seats.”    Another must-read classic (and Canadian to boot): is Shelley Wright, A Feminist Exploration of the Legal Protection of Art, 7 Can. J. Women & L. 59 (1994).  (Another Hein Online link. Apologies, but (irony?) these articles are not available “openly”.)

Since two is too few, she offered these more recent pieces as well – true to her convictions, both of these links should open for everyone.

Ann Bartow, Fair Use and the Fairer Sex:  Gender, Feminism, and Copyright LawAm. UJ Gender Soc. Pol’y & L., 2006,

Greene, K.J. “Intellectual Property at the Intersection of Race and Gender: Lady Sings the Blues.” American University Journal of Gender, Social Policy & the Law. 16, no. 3 (2008): 365-385

These articles, along with Carys work, are fascinating.  It all makes me wonder, sometimes, what exactly I found so interesting about the Constitution….